Ings Sparkles Against Wolves
Monday, 15th Apr 2019 09:43
Whilst Nathan Redmond took the plaudits and Josh Sims has some drooling with his exciting runs, perhaps the real driving force behind the win got little recognition ! Danny Ings.
For some how well a player and how good he is, is always black and white and for some Saints fans strikers seem to be judged purely on goals and nothing else.
On Saturday against Wolves the evidence was on the pitch, Nathan Redmond was in sparkling form but for his first two seasons at the club he was the whipping boy of a section of the crowd who could look no further than his goals tally despite the fact that he was being played out of position at times.
Likewise Shane Long, too many people judge Long on his scoring ability and don't look beyond that, the Irishman's strength is not in finding the net with great regularity, although many seem to have conveniently forgot that in 2015/16 when we finished 6th his 10 goal tally was only one less than both Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle, given his ability to bring people into play and create chances, it could be said that he played a bigger part in us finishing in the top six than both.
But Redmond and Long have found it hard to win favour in that section of the support that has to have a whipping boy and the latest to find that some judge purely on goals is Danny Ings.
Those websites who specialise in taking supporter comments off of social media and turning them into headlines found no shortage of those that seemed to see Ings performance on Saturday as poor, although he also did have his supporters.
Some of those who felt that he had a great game though were the Match Of The Day pundits who were quick to highlight the contribution that the on loan striker had made.
They pointed out how he had started the move for the opening goal when his cushioned header to a team mate enabled Saints to get Josh Sims motoring down the wing to cross for Redmond's opener.
Ings then played 3 sublime through balls to put his team mates through one on one with the keeper, the first saw him lay in a lovely weighted pass that Redmond converted to restore our lead, the second put Sims through who chose to shoot where if he had pulled the ball back for Ings then he would have had an almost open goal and the third was perhaps the best ball of the game, Sims was again though with just the keeper to beat yet pulled is shot wide.
On another day Danny Ings could perhaps have not only had a goal but three assists to his name and that tells you something about the influence he had on Saints going into the break in the lead and it could and should have been a wider margin.
According to the stats list Ings provided one assist, had a pass accuracy of 80%, made two tackles and one interception, and played three key passes. That doesn't sound a lot, but when you consider that our top provider for assists is Nathan Redmond and Matt Targett with three apiece then in this one game Ings could have jumped to the top of the list.
But his detractors will point to his goal scoring record and claim it is poor, but he is still the team's top scorer even after missing a third of the season with injury, his 7 goals is still a reasonable return and better than a one in three goals to games ration.
Remembering how many our three strikers got back in 2016, he is still only four goals of that total now and could actually equal the total yet.
It should be noted that only 19 players have scored over 10 goals so far this season in the Premier League and of that number outside of the Big Six only Jamie Vardy has scored more than 12.
If Ings had been fit then he surely would have been in double figures by now.
There are those that are saying Saints should not complete the £18 million deal for Ings in the summer, I would not be one of them, Ings season has been injury hit, but it seems that the injury that has kept him out has been a hamstring tear, that is nothing to do with his injuries at Liverpool other than after so long out at Anfield, he would have found it hard to get back to full time training and playing without niggling injuries.
£18 million for a striker who can potentially get into double figures is cheap, Richarlison at Everton has 12 goals he cost them £40 million, so Ings goal to game ratio is very good value even if he does miss a game or two through injury.
But for some they won't look beyond the actual goals total, they won't put it into perspective in terms of exactly how many goals a non Big Six striker actually gets in a season, they will just say that 7 goals in 20 games is poor as they did three years ago when they said that Shane Long's return of 10 in 28 games was poor.
Ralph Hasenhuttl's success has not been built on one player scoring or creating goals though, it has been built on a team effort, the goals and the creation of chances have been split around evenly, hence so many have contributed, the fact that we are not reliant on one player is a strength not a weakness.
No one can deny that we do not need to make two key signings in the summer, a central defender and a striker and that some current players are going to be surplus to requirements in those positions, but Danny Ings should form a vital part of our attacking options next season.
On Saturday he showed that like Shane Long he is not just a goal scorer, that he can not only create goals, but play a vital part early in the build as he did with the opener on Saturday, that is a stat that does not show up on anyone's data, but it is the little things that managers notice and know is vital, but sadly so often overlooked by those who base a striker purely on goals alone.
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